The Police in Imo State have shot dead three kidnap suspects and arrested twelve others for alleged roles in separate kidnap cases in the state.
Parading the suspects in Owerri, the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, said the command also arrested one Chukwuemeka Eze for alleged rape and subsequent murder of a twenty-seven year old lady, Lilian Mbanwa, in Mgbidi, Oru West Local Government Area of Imo State.
The Force Spokesman and Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), who addressed Journalists at the Imo State Police Command Headquarters in Owerri, said following the launch of Operation Puff Adder by the Inspector General Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, the police in Imo State swung into action leading to the smashing of kidnap gangs and other criminal suspects terrorizing the state.
He explained that police operatives acting on a tip off stormed a notorious forest called ilile in Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area of the state and engaged on a gun duel with some kidnap suspects, which led to the death of three and subsequent rescue of seven persons who were held hostage in the forest.
Mr. Mba paraded a female undergraduate, her lover and her elder brother for alleged kidnap of her father, who is an octogenarian, for ransom.
Mr. Mba explained that the command arrested a middle aged man, Ikechukwu Eze, who allegedly murdered his victim after forcefully having carnal knowledge of her.
He said luck ran out of the suspect when he took a mobile phone belonging to the deceased to a nearby shop in Mgbidi to charge the battery when someone who was convinced that the suspect could not have owned the mobile phone contacted the police.
While some of the kidnap suspects confessed to the crime, Chukwuemeka Eze kept mute as he refused to respond to questions.
Some of the rescued victims, who were abducted on Owerri Port Harcourt Road, shared their experiences with reporters, telling tales of woes and trauma.
A total of nineteen criminal suspects were paraded for various offences.
Meanwhile, police have said the remains of the deceased rape victim, Lilian Mbanwa, had been deposited in a morgue awaiting autopsy while other suspects would appear in court as soon as investigations were over.